Asian markets rallied on Thursday as US earnings helped to calm fears of a corporate slowdown. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 1.7% to 19,566.20 whilst China rallied on speculation that Beijing will take more steps to boost a slowing economy with the Shanghai Composite up 0.7% to 2184. The Nikkei rose .8% to 8795, the Kospi rallied 1.6% to 1822, and the ASX 200 jumped 2% to 4206.
European markets ended the session on a positively with Dax up 1.2% to 6690, Eurostoxx 50 up 1% to 2284 and the FTSE was up 1% to 5685. All European gains were largely on the back of positive earnings results. Whilst Thursday investors of Nokia are preparing themselves for weak 2 Qtr phone sales
US equities also posted gains on Wednesday with the DJIA +0.8% to 12908, the S&P500 +0.7% to 1372. Stocks finished positive as there was still buyers coming in following the Fed Chairman’s speech on Tuesday. After the bell IBM reported and gave some positive guidance which helped kick the Asian markets along.
Treasuries and Commodities
In the fixed income markets the German Schatz auction went off at a record low yield of -0.060% despite the positive equity results there still is a flight to quality paper. US 10 year Treasuries at 1.48% are in striking distance of their lows ahead of today’s jobs data. Commodities saw 3 month copper on the LME only +0.6% and Brent Crude for September delivery was +1.8% to USD$105.45 per barrel. The biggest news in commodities right now is the price move in the agricultural commodities due to the blistering heat and drought being suffered in the US grain growing belt with Chicago September Wheat up another 2% to 903 ¼.
The Australian Dollar rallied 0.6% to 1.0365. Dollar index was largely unchanged at 83.08. The Euro was also up slightly at 1.2279 but has managed to continue its gains in early trade. The Pound also largely unchanged at 1.5650
US treasury secretary Geithner said that he sees significant drag still on the US recovery and that the economy needs a very significant program of support for economic growth. With Jobs data, Existing home sales and the Philly Fed out today its sure to keep traders on their toes.
Earnings are due from: Morgan Stanley, Freeport McMoRan, Microsoft, Google